Former Holyoke Catholic soccer coach Michael DuPont arrested for sexual exploitation of a child
CHICOPEE — A former Holyoke Catholic girls soccer coach has been arrested on charges of sexual exploitation of a child, WWLP Channel 22 News reported Thursday.
Michael DuPont, 36, formerly of Westfield, now of Chicopee, was arrested Thursday morning at his home, the television station reported on its website.
According to the criminal complaint, Vermont State Police were contacted Dec. 26 by the alleged victim’s mother, who reported that a week previously she inadvertently discovered inappropriate email correspondence between her minor child and another individual, the station reported. The complaint stated that agents met with the girl, “Minor A,” who told them that in October 2012 she was contacted by an individual named “Mike” in an online chat room who indicated he was a 37-year-old soccer coach in Massachusetts. “Minor A” told “Mike” that she was 14 years old. It is alleged that Minor A also communicated with “Mike” when she was asked to “put on a show” via webcam for him.
Last season was DuPont’s sixth as Holyoke Catholic coach, and it was the program’s most successful since 2004. The team reached the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament and ended with a 7-8-4 record.
If convicted, DuPont faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison, to be followed by mandatory minimum of five years and maximum life term of supervised release.
In a statement, the Springfield Diocese said no allegations or related complaints were ever brought to the attention of the diocese during DuPont’s tenure as a soccer coach at Holyoke Catholic, and investigators have not found any evidence that involves the school’s students.
“Like all employees of the diocese, its parishes, schools and institutions, he underwent the normal screening, CORI and child abuse prevention training procedures. He likewise signed a code of conduct. His employment contract with the school ended last November, so he was not currently employed by the school,” stated diocesan spokesman Mark DuPont, who is not related to Michael DuPont.
Working with the United States attorney’s office, the statement continued, school and diocesan officials will meet with parents, faculty and students, starting with parents of soccer players on Friday.